How Important are Baby Teeth?

Your child’s baby teeth are only the beginning of a lifelong dental journey. Baby teeth are essential in helping your child chew, speak, and smile. At Beavercreek Pediatric Dentistry, our pediatric dental experts are focused on the future of your little one’s smile from birth to young adulthood.

Baby Teeth vs. Permanent Teeth

Learning proper oral hygiene at a very young age can help establish good habits for overall dental health throughout adulthood. Baby teeth hold the place for permanent teeth to erupt when they’re ready. In the meantime, taking care of your child’s baby teeth helps them achieve healthy smiles for life.

Typically, your child will have a total of 20 baby teeth Once their baby teeth fall out, they will have 32 permanent teeth. Baby teeth are generally softer and have thinner enamel than permanent teeth, making baby teeth more susceptible to cavities. Baby teeth tend to be whiter in color than permanent teeth, and that’s totally normal! Usually, it’s only noticeable when your child has a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth.

Keeping your child’s baby teeth healthy and maintaining regularly scheduled visits allows their mouth to grow and develop in order to support their permanent teeth. Proper dental care and regular brushing and flossing of baby teeth help ward off tooth decay and gum disease, setting them up for great oral health in the future.

What to Do When Baby Teeth Come in and Fall Out

When your child is born, their full set of primary teeth is just below the surface preparing to emerge. You should begin to see your child’s first baby tooth erupt between 6 months of age and one year. Typically, the first teeth you see are the bottom front teeth, then the top front teeth.

You can begin brushing their teeth as they erupt. Using a rice-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste, you can begin gently brushing your child’s primary teeth twice daily. Once your child is approximately 3 years of age, they can use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste to clean their teeth. This will help jump-start your child’s lifetime of healthy smiles.

Around 5 years of age, your child will begin losing baby teeth. This happens because as your child’s mouth grows, the primary teeth move forward in the mouth and the roots dissolve to allow the baby teeth to fall out. Your child’s permanent teeth will then begin to erupt at or around age 6, with all adult teeth coming in usually by 12 years of age.

When Should I Take My Child to the Dentist?

The American Dental Association and our pediatric dentists recommend bringing your child in for their first dental visit by their first birthday or when their first tooth erupts. Bringing your little ones to a children’s dentistry ensures specialized care from dentists trained to treat the unique dental needs of children. A pediatric dentist will check for cavities, address dental habits like thumb sucking, and help your child develop a great oral health routine that they will take with them through adulthood.

Call to Schedule an Appointment with Us!

Call Beavercreek Pediatric Dentistry today to schedule an appointment! Our board-certified pediatric dentists are here to help your child achieve healthy smiles for life!

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